Hawk Talk: Germain Ifedi’s ‘hard time,’ How Atlanta game-planned vs Richard Sherman and more
Oct 19, 2016, 6:01 AM | Updated: 12:36 pm
Typically not one to be all that critical of an individual player’s performance, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll gave a rather unfavorable review of the way rookie right guard Germain Ifedi played against Atlanta. Seattle’s first-round pick was making his second NFL start after debuting two weeks earlier, and according to Carroll, it didn’t go well.
“He had a hard game. He had a hard time,” Carroll said Monday. “He’s just getting going. He did some great stuff, but he did have some plays that he would like to get back and just things that can get fixed fundamentally. There’s just so many areas that he can improve upon and will. We love the good stuff and we just have to get through the other stuff. It’s not a physical question, it’s not a mental thing, it’s just fundamentals and identification and stuff like that that we can really fix.
“He’s going to be really good and he’s made a difference, you can tell, just being out there.”
Ifedi’s performance against Atlanta and Carroll’s assessment of it were topics in Danny O’Neil’s latest live Seahawks chat. Here’s the transcript. Highlights are below, beginning with a question from Sid about whether Ifedi’s struggles were with his technique.
O’Neil: Sid, you’re looking at the wrong place if you want me to break down the specifics of offensive line play. I know that he did exceptionally well on Christine Michael’s 9-yard touchdown run. He blocked three guys. Pete stated specifically that Ifedi had a hard time. In fact, he was as critical of Ifedi’s play as I’ve heard him be of any player’s performance. Usually you get, “He got through it.” I think that means Ifedi is a player that he can coach hard. He can provide challenges like that believing he will respond to that instead of withering.
Scott noted that Atlanta used late motions and different offensive sets to get cornerback Richard Sherman lined up several times on someone other than a receiver. He asked if Carroll and defensive coordinator Kris Richard got out-schemed.
O’Neil: I think what you just mentioned is part of the reason for the blowup. I do think the Falcons were running plays that they believed would take Sherman out of covering the back third against the sideline. On the first touchdown, the Falcons did that by having a tight end line up outside and run an out with Julio Jones in the flat. On the third touchdown, the Falcons did that by having Julio line up outside and then Sherman trailed him across the field, opening up the zone for the tight end in that back third.
Mick asked if Kris Richard got outsmarted.
O’Neil: Well, it’s not like Richard didn’t account for what happened. The Seahawks didn’t follow the plan as Richard drew it up. I think it’s more accurate to say that in the third quarter, the Falcons were able to put pressure on the weaker points of Seattle’s defense.
Tom Page asked if Sherman’s outburst can be a rallying point for Seattle.
O’Neil: My opinion? I don’t think so. I think it was pretty cool to see his teammates try to get Sherman plugged back in. And I don’t necessarily think there’s a big problem going forward with Sherman and the defense. But it’s not like the defense was lights out after that sideline issue. The Falcons scored touchdowns on their next two possessions.
PDXHawk asked if free safety Earl Thomas deserved a game ball for his performance against Atlanta.
O’Neil: Yes. He absolutely does, and I would encourage everyone to go look at the play where Cliff Avril has the strip sack. Thomas sees something on that play and comes flying forward. If Avril doesn’t strip that ball, I’m convinced Thomas picks it off and returns it for a touchdown. Earl played an absolutely incredible game.